Over the past 20 years, alternative certification for teachers has emerged as a major avenue of teacher preparation. The proliferation of new pathways has spurred heated debate over how best to recruit, prepare, and support qualified teachers.
Alternative Routes to Teaching provides a thorough and dispassionate review of the research evidence on alternative certification. It takes readers beyond the simple dichotomies that have characterized the debate over alternative certification, encourages them to look carefully at the trade-offs implicit in any route into teaching, and suggests ways to “marry” the proven strengths of both traditional and alternative approaches.
Pam Grossman is a professor of education at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the relationship between policy and practice in the area of teacher education, adolescent literacy, and professional education. A former high school English teacher, Grossman teaches the prospective English teachers in Stanford’s teacher-education program. Along with her colleagues Don Boyd, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff, she has been engaged in a three-year study of pathways into teaching in New York City schools, focusing on the features of preparation that affect student achievement and teacher retention.
Susanna Loeb is an associate professor of education at Stanford University and director of the Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice. She specializes in the economics of education and the relationship between schools and federal, state, and local policies. She studies resource allocation, looking specifically at how teachers’ preferences and teacher-preparation policies affect the distribution of teaching quality across schools, and how the structure of state finance systems affects the level and distribution of funds to districts. She also studies poverty policies, including welfare reform and early-childhood education programs. Susanna is an associate professor of business (by courtesy) at Stanford, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and codirector of Policy Analysis for California Education.